Plymouth A&E sees increase in people suffering with their mental health

  • Concerns have arisen following over 3,300 people attending A&E with mental health issues last year, reports the Plymouth Herald.

    Data from Freedom of Information requests have found that 3,346 people went to Derriford Hospital’s emergency department due to mental health issues over the last year. busy_hospital.jpg

    Debbie Roche, of the Plymouth branch of mental health charity Mind, said: “It is very concerning that the number of people with mental health issues are presenting at A&E for support. This illustrates how desperately a 24-hour service for those experiencing a mental health crisis is needed. Appropriate funding is required for mental health services to provide care to those in need at crisis level. However, I believe we need to see a shift in attitudes towards mental health generally. We all need to be aware of our own mental health, to be able to administer self-care where possible and also be able to access early intervention services to help prevent long-term enduring mental health conditions developing.”
    John Hamblin, chief executive of the Shekinah Mission charity, said: “Over recent months we have seen access to mental health services become increasingly difficult. Increase in thresholds and reductions in additional community based support services has left many people with little or no support. The reality is that many people will still find ways to try to access support, and A&E and police stations will often be a perceived route into the system, or simply a cry for help.”

    A spokesman for Plymouth Community Healthcare (PCH) said: “PCH has two mental health teams working within Derriford Hospital, on the wards and in A&E. These teams work alongside Derriford staff to liaise, support and help train ward and A&E staff where required. We have recently employed an additional psychiatrist to support the teams working within Derriford. We have an assessment service offered by our children’s outreach team for children’s mental health and also for learning disability patients. We also provide out of hours support to Derriford via our on call mental health staff.”

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